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Local opinion columnists

What’s the tea party all about?

By From page A8 | May 17, 2014

A philosopher whose name is long forgotten remarked, “A man is not a fool because he knows nothing about some things that affect him. He is the greatest fool of all if he remains ignorant intentionally.”

Will Rogers commented that “everyone is ignorant only on different subjects.”

Mark Twain said, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubts.”

The topic of today’s column is the tea party. What it is. What it is not. What they do. Who is involved. I will tell you from my own experience with local groups and local people. In the process, I will try to help folks understand so that they will no longer be ignorant (unless they want to be) and will not make fools of themselves (unless that is their desire).

First of all, the tea party is not an organization or political party. It is more of an idea that has caught fire with people who love their country passionately, people who are willing to stand up for America. Others have used the tea party name to cash in on its popularity. Tea party this and tea party that. They are hangers-on.

The central ideas behind tea party are: America should have a limited government based on the powers enumerated in the Constitution; that government should spend the people’s money wisely; and that citizens should be free to succeed and prosper without undue government interference. Each tea party group is independent. It may cooperate with others, but each sets its own agenda. Each pays its own way from member donation or fundraisers. There are no corporate sponsorships.

Our two local tea party groups are the Solano Tea Party Patriots, which meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of every month at the Benicia Grill II in Fairfield. Doris Robinson, the original president and moving force died recently. A new leader is being selected. The second local group is the VacaValley Tea Party Patriots, which meets at 6 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at Pietro’s No. 2 in Vacaville. This group is headed by another powerhouse, Colleen Britton. Colleen is a retired teacher. Very creative.

Before I tell you about some recent programs, you should be warned: If you are uncomfortable being with people who love their country and may be vocal about it, you should prepare to be uncomfortable when you go to a meeting. These are passionate American patriots.
What have some of the recent programs been about? A couple told of life in Libya before al-Qaida took control. They told about fleeing from radical Islamic terrorists. These are real people with real experiences.

Several programs were about Common Core, the national educational dumb-down standards. The hosts from the San Francisco talk radio show “The Patriot and Preacher” explored the history and relationship of faith to America’s government. Agenda 21, the globalization of America and the world, was another topic. Still another was voter IDs and achieving honest elections. There have been presentations by candidates for various offices, so those in attendance could see what the candidates had to offer.

There is always plenty of notice so you can go to meetings that will interest you. The fellowship is great. Reports on current happenings make every meeting of interest.

The negative comments about tea party generally have their beginnings in the false, politically correct idea that tea party groups are the arm of extreme right corporate radicals. This is just not true. The politically correct propaganda has been somewhat effective in creating a false image, which uninformed folks are fooled by. Tea party groups are genuine, grassroots, patriotic Americans. They are and can be a great resource for genuine American patriot candidates.

If you think you have been fooled by the propaganda, go to a meeting. Listen and ask questions. If you prefer to remain in the dark, stay home on meeting nights.

Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or [email protected]

Murray Bass


Discussion | 17 comments

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  • DanielMay 17, 2014 - 6:32 am

    This accurate description of private activist citizens doesn't fit the hairbrain projected stereotyping by self-proclaimed "progressives", so they will ignore the facts just like they delusionally do when anything doesn't fit into their world of fantasy.

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  • PornacMay 17, 2014 - 6:42 am

    Do our local tea party groups do anything besides meet? Murray doesn't tell us foolish masses wishing to reduce our ignorance. Although I'd rather go somewhere and shoot my guns than go to a meeting and talk about things I can't change.

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  • Murray BassMay 17, 2014 - 10:21 am

    Hello Potomac. Yes, of course they do things beside meet. Inform. Provide opportunities to become involve3d ( help whomever they wish) Become involved in such projects as the election integrity program. It is true that the folks that go to the meetings care about America. Want less Governnmebt and more personal freedom for everyone. Even those who want bigger government, unlimited spending and agovernment copntrolled lives. Tea Party is about making freedom work for Americans. I still haven't herd the uminformed say,"Maybe I should go to a meeting and find out for myself." For them, darkness is always better than liht. They don't have to think for themselves.

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  • PornacMay 17, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    Pornac want government to build good roads and bridges. Don't care about talk.

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  • The MisterMay 17, 2014 - 6:57 am

    Those sound good, Murray... but I want to go to the meetings that Minnie goes to so I can get my free 40 acres and a mule.

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  • CD BrooksMay 17, 2014 - 7:38 am

    Mr. Bass, the title to this article made it-unreadable but silly me, I did so anyway. Nice try, the Tea Party may be a local fun- fest feel-good show for you all. But the reality is there was no deceit in the negative stories Sir, they are a miserable bunch and their over-the-top right wing message is sucking the life out of the GOP. The Tea Party is an absolute trouble-making embarrassment in DC. A little reading will catch you up on the facts of the matter.

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  • mike kirchubelMay 17, 2014 - 9:01 am

    CD, Murray is describing the two local groups which may be composed of good-intentioned people. His article should be titled: "what the local tea party is all about." I dont think the Koch brothers fund or control the local groups.

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  • kiss...The McGuire Sisters - (Baby, Baby) Be Good to Me (1955)May 17, 2014 - 9:14 am


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  • StRMay 17, 2014 - 8:02 am

    To Fund Tea Party activities ... if I was the leadership... I would start asking for $1 a head contribution at the meetings... or 2$ total up some expenses and see what it takes to fund the meetings... do not make this mandatory to attend.... but I think everyone can afford a dollar or two....Because I know the Presidents end up putting some of their own money into it... Also it maybe would let them advertise their speakers better?.............But you guys should definitely know that I think some of your speakers have some disinfo going on.... Anyone who will not tell you that the Fed is privately owned,, and that will not tell you that 9/11 was an inside job by both the top Republicans and Democrats and that the Mossad was in on it big time.... then you have to evaluate everything else they say to look for the truth..... I have seen some of the Israeli lobby there definitely and even in the audience there are plants...You liberals have your heads up your but, if you do not also see that most of the Democrat Party is just as bad... Cloward Piven all the way.... All the candidates for most all offices on both the Dem and Repub side are vetted by the Banking powers... for example both Garamendi and Kim Vann were Bankers choices...

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  • rlw895May 17, 2014 - 8:10 am

    Who provides the speakers and pays their expenses?

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  • Murray BassMay 19, 2014 - 6:14 am

    They pay their own way. The Groups don't pay for speakers. Sometimes the hat is passed. Sometimes the speakers have books or dvds to offer at a price.

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  • JagMay 17, 2014 - 9:23 am

    So now you are sticking up for the GOP? I will tell you what; You can have them, What is wrong with having a different view? What is wrong with wanting to take our country in a different direction? These are the facts. OK so we want voter ID (fine give them one free one) and we are against all of the hand out that the government gives out and yes we are against making Illegals all of a sudden legal because they will become democrat voters yes they know that is the way to keep the free stuff coming Have you ever seen a democratic president go to the left as much as Obama and refuse to negotiate with the other side? Even Clinton gave in on welfare reform. I agree with Pornac why go to a meeting when nothing can be done. Not here not in this state but in other states they are winning state elections the idea is getting out but not only do we have to fight the democrats we have to fight first the GOP so it is going to take time but don’t worry you will have Jerry Brown for another four years and I am sure by then California will again go around the government and make all dreamers legal

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  • Jason KnowlesMay 17, 2014 - 9:27 am

    Murray, you make the meetings sound like nothing more than groupthink, where any form of dissension will be shot down with passion and vigor. In a pluralistic society, the art of governance requires compromise. The Tea Parties seem to require adherence to strict ideological principles where nuance and complexity are sacrificed for for dogmatic black-and-white absolutism. It is impossible to govern this country that way. The Constitution itself is a testament to enormous compromise, yet the Tea Party wants it to be used as a tool to justify their beliefs. I agree with the fact that government has become too large and unjustifiably intrudes on many issues of personal liberty. However, I find it hard to take the Tea Party seriously when you throw people like Tim Donnelly, Michelle Bachmann, and Louie Gohmert as your flag bearers. If the Tea Party would like to engage independent voters such as myself, they would be wise to put down their swords, stop endorsing (and financing) the lunatic fringe, and come to the realization that, in the words of Henry Clay, “Politics is not about ideological purity, or moral self-righteousness, it’s about governing. If you cannot compromise you cannot govern.”

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  • Rich GiddensMay 17, 2014 - 10:44 am

    Knowles, I sure wouldn't want you teaching my kids with your anti-American great failed society beliefs along with your hatred of whites. Face it, you are a black racist who hates whites, especially white seniors. So you hate Gohmert. Gohmert was a judge who sent a lot of no-gooders to the electric chair. That's why you hate him too! Like the black racist you are, you want all outcomes determined by race. Your beliefs have been tried and the result is now the end of the USA and the rise of tyranny.

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  • Danny BuntinMay 17, 2014 - 1:05 pm

    You lost me after "A philosopher...".

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  • ?May 17, 2014 - 7:44 pm

    Honi soit qui mal y pense

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  • JagMay 17, 2014 - 8:45 pm

    Shamed be he who thinks ill of it

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